• Monday, Nov 29, 2021
  • Last Update : 06:12 pm

Govt looking to ease lockdown

  • Published at 10:10 pm April 27th, 2020
Empty dhaka streets-opu-police
File photo: Police enforce lockdown during coronavirus pandemic at a Dhaka street Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Dhaka Metropolitan Police has decided to allow hotels and restaurants in the capital to sell iftar items and grocery shops to remain open until 4pm

The government is looking to ease the lockdown and gradually restore normal life, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said during a video conference with representatives and officials of districts under Rajshahi division on Monday. 

A month after the imposition of a lockdown to enforce social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic, most garment industries resumed production on Sunday.

In addition, the government on Thursday decided to open its offices under 18 ministries at the division, district and upazila levels on a limited scale during the extended general holidays until May 5.

 “Darkness is not permanent; there will certainly be light soon,” the prime minister said at the video conference. 

“Five people died of Covid-19 yesterday, and we hope the death rate will decrease. Once that happens, we will gradually remove restrictions on vehicles and goods transportation,” she added.

“There is no obstacle to goods transportation right now. I have already given instructions regarding this matter. We are thinking about more options for goods transportation to ensure that market prices remain normal,” she added.

Furthermore, Dhaka Metropolitan Police has decided to allow hotels and restaurants in the capital to sell iftar items and grocery shops to remain open until 4pm from Tuesday.

Although the Inspector General of Police earlier sounded strict on the sales of iftar items, the DMP has now eased the restrictions. Restaurants in Dhaka will be able to sell iftar items from Monday, but only as takeaways.

“Eateries will still not be allowed to set up stalls on the footpaths, and restaurants are still not allowed to serve customers on their premises,” said DMP Deputy Commissioner Masudur Rahman. 

The DMP has also decreed a two-hour extension of the time during which grocery stores and small shops can stay open in the capital. 

“They can now remain open until 4pm, instead of 2pm, during the shutdown imposed to stem the spread of the coronavirus,” the DMP deputy commissioner added.

However, the business hours for kitchen markets and super shops will remain from 6am to 5pm, he further said. Drug stores and emergency services are exempted from the restrictions.

Bangladesh has been under lockdown since March 26, with the period of closure being extended several times — most recently until May 5.

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